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Ingeborg Wikborg

(Sigurd)

(b Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag, April 21, 1933).

Norwegian sculptor, designer and medallist. He became familiar with handicraft in his father’s furniture workshop. In 1954 he began five years’ study as a commercial artist at the Håndverks- og Kunstindustriskole in Oslo and from 1957 to 1963 he worked as an illustrator for a newspaper. He studied at the Kunstakademi in Oslo from 1959 to 1962 under the sculptor Per Palle Storm (1910–94) who advocated naturalism in sculpture. As an assistant to Arnold Haukeland from 1961 to 1964, Aas lost his apprehension of the untried and cultivated his sense of daring, as he gained experience with welding techniques. Highly imaginative and versatile, Aas worked in both abstract and figurative modes and is reckoned one of the foremost sculptors in Norway; in 1990 he was honoured with St Olav.

Aas’s first sculpture was an equestrian monument in snow, made in Inderøy while he was a schoolboy. His first public project was the abstract steel figure ...

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Simon Jervis

In 

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Term used to describe a movement of the 1870s and 1880s that manifested itself in the fine and decorative arts and architecture in Britain and subsequently in the USA. Reacting to what was seen as evidence of philistinism in art and design, it was characterized by the cult of the beautiful and an emphasis on the sheer pleasure to be derived from it. In painting there was a belief in the autonomy of art, the concept of Art for Art’s Sake, which originated in France as a literary movement and was introduced into Britain around 1860.

The Aesthetic Movement was championed by the writers and critics Walter Pater, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. In keeping with Pater’s theories, the artists associated with it painted pictures without narrative or significant subject-matter. Dante Gabriel Rossetti took his inspiration from Venetian art because of its emphasis on colour and the decorative. This resulted in a number of half-length paintings of female figures, such as the ...

Article

Isabel L. Taube

Late 19th-century movement in the arts and literature characterized by the pursuit and veneration of beauty and the fostering of close relationships among the fine and applied arts. According to its major proponents, beauty was found in imaginative creations that harmonized colours, forms, and patterns derived from Western and non-Western cultures as well as motifs from nature. The Aesthetic Movement gained momentum in England in the 1850s, achieved widespread popularity in England and the USA by the 1870s, and declined by the 1890s.

The principal ideologies and practices of British Aestheticism came to the USA through both educational and commercial channels. As early as 1873, the Scottish stained-glass designer, decorator, and art dealer Daniel Cottier opened a branch of his interior design shop in New York and played a significant role in introducing aesthetic taste and artefacts to Americans. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, with its extensive display of industrial and decorative arts, showcased British Aestheticism and the Japanese ceramics that influenced it. British art magazines and books, especially Charles Locke Eastlake’s ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...

Article

Andrea Nulli

(b Robbiate, Como, Oct 17, 1905; d Milan, Nov 1, 1977).

Italian architect, urban planner and furniture designer. After graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan (1929), he set up individual practice in Milan. One of the group of Rationalist architects who formed around the magazine Casabella, his work in the 1930s ranged from workers’ housing in Milan (1936, 1938; with Renato Camus and Giancarlo Palanti) to an ideal flat and furniture, exhibited at the Triennale in Milan in 1936. Immediately after World War II a series of masterplanning projects included schemes for the City of Milan (1946; with BBPR, Piero Bottoni, Luigi Figini and Gino Pollini) and for Reggio Emilia (1947–8; with Giancarlo De Carlo). Albini’s post-war architecture has a Rationalist clarity combined with sensitivity to context, tradition and history. Expressed first in the Rifugio Pirovano (1949–51) at Cervinia, Aosta, it was the office building for the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA; 1950), Parma, with its simply stated concrete frame that set the pattern developed later in La Rinascente department store (...

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Gordon Campbell

[Alchymia; Studio Alchimia]

Radical Italian design group known as Studio Alchimia founded in Milan in 1976 by the architect Alessandro Guerriero (b 1943) and his sister Adriana; they were later joined by the designer Alessandro Mendini (b 1931), who became the principal spokesman of group. The Studio was a manifestation of the anti-design movement, which sought to subvert austere ...

Article

John Steen

(Hendrik)

(b Borger, Feb 11, 1900; d Drachten, Jan 30, 1984).

Dutch painter and printmaker. He trained between 1919 and 1923 as a cabinetmaker, taking evening classes in furniture drawing and design at the Academie Minerva in Groningen. He also took private drawing lessons with the Dutch sculptor Willem Valk (1898–1977). Around 1920 he started to make drawings and paintings in an abstracted, geometric style, similar to that of Bart van der Leck (e.g. En passant, 1921–2; priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 17). From 1924 he worked in the architectural firm of Van Lingen in Groningen, and he continued to design furniture until the 1930s. He joined De Ploeg and started to mix with Dutch artists such as Jan Wiegers, Jan Altink (1885–1971) and Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman. He produced geometric abstract works such as Composition with Yellow Circles (1924; Groningen, Groninger Mus.). From c. 1924 he began to associate with the Belgian Constructivists involved in the magazine ...

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Article

Torbjörn Fulton

(b Germany, fl 1620–56; d Mecklenburg).

German stuccoist and sculptor. His few surviving works provide fine examples from a period that is sparsely represented in the history of stucco decoration in parts of middle and northern Europe. Anckerman’s first known work is in Mecklenburg, where he decorated the ceilings in the castles of Dargun (destr.) and Güstrow. In the latter a vast expanse of his relief panels (1620) survives, although some of them are 20th-century free reconstructions. His other identified works are in Sweden, where he worked for several patrons, including Queen Christina. In the 1640s he decorated the funerary chapel of General Herman Wrangel (d 1645) in Skokloster (Uppland) parish church. In this tower-like chapel he provided three stucco wall reliefs: the Battle of Gorzno (1629) (depicting the battle in which the Swedes defeated the Poles), a family tree and a decorative landscape. The Gothic vault is decorated with leaves, entwined along the ribs, a central floral motif and four figures of angels, sculpted in such high relief as to seem almost in the round. In addition there are two life-size figures representing General Wrangel, one reposing on the tomb, the other an equestrian monument set against a wall. None of the stucco is painted or gilded, and the effect of so much decoration in a small room is somewhat overcrowded; however, it succeeds in communicating the patron’s martial pride. Although there is no documentation to support identification of Anckerman as the sculptor of these works, the stylistic similarity to the documented ones in Strängnäs Cathedral strongly suggests such an attribution....

Article

Maria Helena Mendes Pinto

(fl c. 1766; d Lisbon, 1814).

Portuguese wood-carver and cabinetmaker. From 1766 he worked uninterruptedly on commissions from the royal family or under their patronage, even after the court had gone into exile in Brazil in 1807. His name is recorded from 1803 in the book of those receiving communion in Rua S Roque in the Encarnação parish where he, like many other wood-carvers, lived or had his workshop. He was licensed as a wood-carver of the Casa do Infantado and later of the royal palaces (1805). When he applied for the latter qualification, he made a list (possibly chronological) of his works prefaced by the statement: ‘As I show here, I have been serving the royal household for thirty-three years’. This key document in Ângelo’s own hand allows a fuller survey of his work than has previously been feasible (Correira Guedes, 1971). Ângelo worked principally in executing the designs of architects of the royal household or the Casa do Infantado, sometimes on his own with complete freedom and responsibility, as in the construction of the tower for fireworks on the occasion of the inauguration (...

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Torbjörn Fulton

[Johan]

(fl Narol, 1663; d Stockholm, 1688).

Italian stuccoist active in Sweden. He collaborated with Hans Zauch on ceilings in Skokloster Castle, Uppland (1663–4), and he created the ceiling in the great hall in Djursholm Castle (1668), near Stockholm. At Skokloster he may have executed two ceilings (1663–4) alone, in the antechambers of the apartment of Carl Gustaf Wrangel (1613–76) and his wife in the east wing. These ceilings are dominated by figurative motifs—flying putti in one ceiling, representatives of the Four Seasons in the other. The latter especially is marked by its somewhat naive but fine modelling and has lyrical scenes, such as the heavily clad young man warming his hands by a fire, typifying winter.

E. Andrén: Skokloster (Stockholm, 1948) S. Karling: ‘Les Stucateurs italiens en Suède’, Arte e artisti dei laghi lombardi, ed. E. Aslan (Como, 1964), pp. 291–302 G. Beard: Stucco and Decorative Plasterwork in Europe...

Article

Hans Ottomeyer

Term used, mainly in France, to describe painted ornament in the late 18th century incorporating grotesques, Strapwork and the foliate scrollwork enriched with grotesque figures. Contemporaries referred to the style, which was in evidence from 1775 and developed until the collapse of the ancien régime, as ‘goût étrusque’ (see Etruscan style) or ‘genre arabesque’, or sometimes used the double appellation ‘goût arabesque et étrusque’. It derives in part from surviving examples of the grotesque in Rome (see Grotesque) and is characterized by naturalistically shaped ornamental motifs, which pivot on a central axis to form a mirror image (see Arabesque). The principle of composition of the style lies in the curvilinear Acanthus scroll, symmetrically aligned on an axis and rolling up to form a spiral. Spirals are also found in the scroll friezes, in scroll motifs turning in on themselves to become spirals and in flutings. This naturalistic imagery is diametrically opposed to the heavy forms, sober abstract friezes and the severe and solemn pictorial inventions of early Classicism and the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Tel Aviv, 1951).

Israeli designer, active in Britain. In 1981 Arad founded, with Caroline Thorman, One Off Ltd, a design studio, workshops and showroom in Covent Garden, London. In 1989, again with Caroline Thorman, he founded Ron Arad Associates, an architecture and design practice in Chalk Farm. In 1994 he established the Ron Arad Studio in Como (Italy). His most famous design is the Rover Chair, which recycled used Rover car seats. He has long had an interest in the use of steel, and the Bookwork bookshelves (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Heavy iron or iron-bound coffer made in Germany and Flanders from the 16th century to the 18th, when they were supplanted by the safe. The chests had a dummy keyhole in the front and were fastened by a lock on the underside of the lid. The word ‘Armada’ may allude to the Spanish Armada, but there is no historical connection with the chests of the Armada....

Article

Armadio  

Gordon Campbell

Italian cupboard, used in the 15th century to denote a Cassone with doors instead of a lid, and thereafter a large two-storeyed cupboard. An example from the 1730s in the oratory of S Giuseppe in Urbino is decorated with a thickly impastoed imaginary landscape by Alessio de Marchis (1684–1752...

Article

Suzanne Tise

Descriptive term applied to a style of decorative arts that was widely disseminated in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s. Derived from the style made popular by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, the term has been used only since the late 1960s, when there was a revival of interest in the decorative arts of the early 20th century. Since then the term ‘Art Deco’ has been applied to a wide variety of works produced during the inter-war years, and even to those of the German Bauhaus. But Art Deco was essentially of French origin, and the term should, therefore, be applied only to French works and those from countries directly influenced by France.

The development of the Art Deco style, or the Style moderne as it was called at the time, closely paralleled the initiation of the 1925...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

Richard Guy Wilson

Stylistic term applied to architecture and decorative arts of the 1920s and 1930s whose origin partially lies with the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris (see Art Deco). The term was invented in 1966 and initially applied just to French 1920s design but shortly thereafter grew to encompass a wide variety of modernist architecture and design that displayed decorative traits that stood in contrast to the more austere Modern style sometimes known as Functionalism, Bauhaus style, or International Style. Synonyms for Art Deco have included Style moderne, Art Moderne, Modernistic, Cubistic, Manhattan style, skyscraper style, setback style, zigzag style, streamlined, stripped Classicism, Greco Deco, and others.

The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925 was a lavish spectacle of pavilions and exhibits that showcased the latest modern tendencies in French and foreign design. Originally scheduled for ...

Article

Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...

Article

Basilio Pavón Maldonado

Spanish term for a type of intricately joined wooden ceiling in which supplementary laths are interlaced into the rafters supporting the roof to form decorative geometric patterns (see fig.). Artesonado ceilings were popular in the Islamic architecture of North Africa and Spain from the 13th to the 15th century and were also used widely in Jewish and Christian architecture. They continued to be popular into the 16th century when they were effectively integrated with Renaissance motifs.

Artesonado ceilings developed from horizontal coffered ceilings, which were used in Spanish Islamic architecture as early as the 10th century ad (see Islamic art, §II, 5(iv)). The Umayyad caliph al-Hakam II (reg 961–76) ordered a carved and painted coffered ceiling for the Great Mosque of Córdoba (see Córdoba, §3, (i), (a)). It was suspended from the ceiling joists and tie-beams of the pitched roofs covering the aisles. The halls of ...